The Douglas Shire is on Cyclone Watch due to the presence of Tropical Cyclone Ita presently located in the Coral Sea and tracking west towards Cape Melville.
The Bureau of Meteorology predicts Cylone Ita will cross landfall as a Category 4 system just south of Cape Melville late on Friday evening.
The Douglas Local Government Area is the most southerly point of the current Cyclone Watch and residents and visitors in the Douglas Shire should start preparing for a cyclone event.
Check your emergency kit is ready, tie down or pack away all outdoor items and furniture and make sure your important documents are safely stored.
Widespread heavy rainfall is expected in the Douglas Shire as a result of Cyclone Ita. High winds may be experienced, depending on where the cyclone makes landfall.
The safest place to be in the event of a cyclone is your own home or accommodation.
The Port Douglas Storm Tide Cyclone Shelter located at the Port Douglas State School will only be activated when there is an imminent threat of storm tide inundation as a result of a cylone. The Storm Tide Cyclone Shelter is only for people who are at immediate risk of storm tide inundation and have been evacuated from their location by the police.
Storm tide surge maps of the local area are available by clicking here.
Below are some handy hints to help you prepare for a cyclone in the event Cyclone Ita changes from its predicted course and directly impacts the Douglas Shire.
All residents should have an emergency kit packed regardless.
WHAT TO PACK IN AN EMERGENCY KIT
- Battery-operated radio (with spare batteries)
- Torch (with spare batteries)
- Candles, lighter and waterproof matches
- First aid kit and manual
- Combination pocket knife
- Portable (gas) stove with fuel
- Cooking gear
- Water in sealed containers (10L per person)
- Medications – additional supplies
- Toiletry and sanitary supplies
- Change of clothes and strong shoes
- Non-perishable food (cans) – enough for 3-4 days (can opener and utensils)
- Special needs for infants, the aged and people with disabilities
- Pet food, water and other animal needs
- Tent or tarpaulin, and blankets/bed linen
- Other camping equipment
- Cash money
- Personal documents (insurance certificates, photographs etc)
- Strong plastic bags (for clothing and valuables etc)
- Emergency phone numbers
MAKE A HOUSEHOLD EMERGENCY PLAN
Before the cyclone:
- Listen to your radio (ensure you have spare batteries)
- Check your emergency kit is ready and nearby
- Tie down or pack away all outdoor items and furniture
- Cover windows/doors with timber sheeting, or tape across the glass with masking tape and close all doors
- Make sure your vehicle is full of fuel and park undercover if possible
- Ensure your boat and caravan is garaged, or if not, make every effort to secure it with strong ropes to a dependable anchor point
- Evacuate from caravans and tents
- If visiting the area, talk to your accommodation provider about what you should do and where you can go
- Fill drinking containers, your bathtub and wheelie bin with water – this water can be used to flush toilets if water supplies are affected
- Freeze water in case of power failure
- Place important documents and valuables in plastic bags or other waterproof containers and put in a safe place
- Turn off or unplug all non-essential electrical equipment
During the cyclone
- Continue to listen to your battery-powered radio for all warnings and advice
- Stay inside and keep yourself and your family calm
- Shelter in the strongest part of the building, this is often the bathroom, toilet or hallway
- Mattresses and blankets may protect you
- Beware of the calm eye/centre of the cyclone – stay inside
After the cyclone
- Stay inside until officially advised on the radio that the cyclone has passed
- Stay well clear of fallen powerlines. Always assume that fallen powerlines are “live”
- Stay out of floodwaters